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Logo. Feature : Power
One example for Feature : Power
Used for describe power lines and associated infrastructure.

The power=* tag is used to identify a wide range of facilities and features that relate to the generation and distribution of electrical power including power lines, power generation, pylons and sub-stations. WikiProject Power networks gives more details of the project to map electricity distribution.


Key Value Element Comment Rendering Photo
power plant Area Relation A place/industrial facility where power is generated. Individual generating units within the facility should be tagged as power=generator.
Huntly Power Station.JPG
power cable Way A way following the path of underground cables, such as the local 0.4 kV network between transformer stations, distribution boxes and cable connection points, or sea cables. Not to be confused with non-power supply cables such as cables for telecommunication. May be combined with voltage=*, circuits=* and location=*.
Power to the People - geograph.org.uk - 560240.jpg
power compensator Node Area Several kind of power devices used to insure of power quality and network resilience.
Static VAR Compensator 2a.png
power converter Node Area An HVDC converter converts electric power from high voltage alternating current (AC) to high-voltage direct current (HVDC), or vice-versa.
Pole 2 Thyristor Valve.jpg
power generator Node Area A device used to convert power from one form to another. Use in combination with generator:source=*, generator:method=* and generator:output=*. Depends on generator type
Eoliennes Gaspesie.jpg
power heliostat Node A mirror of a heliostat device.
power insulator Node Way A device to protect a power line from grounding on supports
Power insulator.png
power line Way A way following the path of (overground) power cables. For minor power lines with poles and not towers, you may want to use power=minor_line. Useful combinations: voltage=*, cables=* and wires=*. Please see the respective feature pages for details.
Power line.png
Electric transmission lines.jpg
line busbar Way Determines a power=line to a busbar.
line bay Way A bay connects an incoming circuit to a busbar assembly.
power minor_line Way A way following the path of (overground) minor power cables, supported by poles and not towers/pylons. (This isn't quite so simple, as sometimes larger towers are replaced by smaller poles made with a stronger material; a better distinction might be based on voltage).
Power minor line.png
power pole Node For single (often wooden or concrete) poles carrying medium/low voltage electricity cables.
Power pole.svg
power portal NodeWay Power supporting structure composed of vertical legs with cables between them attached to a horizontal crossarm
Power substation portal.jpg
power catenary_mast Node A catenary mast supports system of overhead wires used to supply electricity to electricaly powered vehicle equipped with a pantograph.
power substation Node Area A tag for electricity substations. These provide voltage step-up/step-down, switching, conditioning, etc. Substations may be large facilities (up to several acres) for very high voltage transmission lines or just small buildings or kiosks near the street for low voltage distribution lines. Useful combinations: voltage=*, substation=* and location=*, see the feature page for details.
power switch Node A tag for electricity switches which are devices which allow operators to power up & down lines and transformer in substations or outside.
French overhead power switch pole.jpg
power terminal Node Point of connection between overhead power lines to buildings or walls
power tower Node For towers or pylons carrying high voltage electricity cables. Normally constructed from steel latticework but tubular or solid pylons are also commonly used. Should not be used for medium or low voltage electricity conductors carried on single wooden poles which might be tagged power=pole. See power=tower for detailed tagging of tower types.
Power-tower mapnik.png
Benkid77 Puddington-Shotwick footpath 24 110809.JPG
power transformer Node A static device for transferring electric energy by inductive coupling between its windings. Large power transformers are typically located inside substations.
Trafostation Alter Hellweg IMGP4722.jpg
power User Defined Node Way Area All commonly used values according to Taginfo

This table is a wiki template with a default description in English. Editable here.


Very useful for navigation.

The number of wires in each cable can tagged using wires=single, wires=double or wires=quad. All towers also have one or more earth wires strung from the top.


See WikiProject Power networks/France


See WikiProject Power networks/Germany. The transmission network usually uses steel lattice pylons. There are three voltages:

  • 380 kV: mostly triple or quadruple wires, historic lines may have double wires
  • 220 kV: mostly double wires, historic lines may have single wires
  • 110 kV subtransmission: single wires

Frequently, pylons carry multiple lines even at different voltages to save space.

The distribution network lines operate at 20 kV in most rural regions and are installed on wooden, concrete or small metal poles. 3 or 6 single wires, usually no ground wire. Single remote houses or farmyards may be supplied by 950 V lines of similar appearance.

Power lines showing 4 or 8 cables belong to the railway traction power network operated by DB Energie independently (110 kV two-phase, 16.7 Hz). Mostly single wires, rarely double or quadruple (at same voltage, increasing the possible current load).


In Japan, see User:Nahainec/PowerLine.


Further information at WikiProject Power networks/Philippines

Power lines in the Philippines are operated by various companies and cooperatives. The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) operates both subtransmission (69 and 115 kV) and transmission lines (115 kV, 138 kV, 230 kV, 350 kV DC, and 500 kV), but utilities (e.g. Meralco, Visayas Electric Company, Davao Light) and electric cooperatives may operate subtransmission lines (69 or 115 kV) and distribution lines (usually 7.39 and 13.8 kV, or 20 and 34.5 kV). Some electric cooperatives only operate distribution lines, and depend on NGCP for subtransmission lines to feed their substations.

Power line locations may be on allocated right of way or along roads or railroads. Transmission lines usually run on separate right of way, but a few partially or completely running along roads or railroads. Subtransmission lines by NGCP typically run on separate right of way and some segments follow roads, but utility or cooperative-owned subtransmission lines are usually roadside, for easier access by work vehicles. Distribution lines are almost roadside and areas served by the lines are usually served by multiple distribution transformers (single-phase), like the common practice in most of Asia and the Americas. Smaller distribution substations (substation=minor_distribution) are primarily used on large users, like some government offices, malls, or condominiums, instead of a larger area, like residential areas, where multiple distribution transformers are used instead.

Voltages used are like those used in the United States, and the frequency is 60 Hz. The household voltage is 220 volts, 60 Hz, somehow double the 110/220 volts lines once used in the US, before it is raised to 115/230 volts and the current 120/240 volts, though people still refer them as 110 V volts. Standard voltages for power lines, follow this hierarchy, from low to high voltage, and further information can be seen in WikiProject Power networks/Philippines and User:TagaSanPedroAko/Philippines Tagging/Power lines.

  • Two bare wires or two cables with neutral are 220/440 volts three-wire single phase or split-phase. These are fed by pole-mounted transformers on a roadside pole and they provide the domestic power supply of 220 volts, which operates almost every appliance, from light bulbs to air conditioners. 440 volts is rarely used for household use, so the split-phase system is used to carry 220 volts for a longer distance, especially on densely populated areas, like in Metro Manila, where houses are closer to each other, though they see also use in provinces, especially on those being part of Meralco's franchise area.
  • Two bare wires (one line, one neutral) are 220 volts, single phase. These provide household and light commercial electric power, but only for a short distance, especially on rural areas where population is sparsely scattered. This system is prevalent in provinces, and primarily used as standard for provincial electric cooperatives.
  • Three cables, with one neutral, are 380 volts (wye) or 380/440 volts (high-leg delta). These provide power for multiple commercial users, but they usually feed a single commercial customer. These voltages are obtained through three single-phase transformers (wye) or two single-phase transformers (high-leg delta)
  • Single wire lines are 7,970 volts on insulators with one cap, or 20,000 volts on insulators with two or three caps. 7,970 volts is used on most areas, usually served by cooperatives, and 20,000 volts is used in Metro Manila and most nearby provinces, served by Meralco. These feed the 220/440 volt distribution system for residential and light commercial users through single-phase transformers.
  • Two or three wire lines are 13,800 volts on insulators with one cap, or 34,500 volts on insulators with two or three caps. The former is used on most provinces, while the latter is used in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, served by Meralco, where 34,500 volts is their standard voltage, except in parts of Bulacan, Batangas City, and San Pascual, where 13,800 volts is used, fed by the 69,000 volt subtransmission grid, operated by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines and also, by Meralco.
  • Three single wires on four or five-plate insulators or long pin insulators on 20 meter high poles, H-frame and triple towers, or rarely, lattice towers, are 69,000 volts. These serve as the subtransmission level voltage on most provinces, and are operated mostly by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, though electric cooperatives and utilities (e.g. Meralco in northeast Bulacan, Batangas City and San Pascual, Batangas, Batangas, Panay Electric Company in Iloiloc City, Visayas Electric Company in Metro Cebu, and Davao Light in Metro Davao) operate some, mostly roadside for convenience of linemen using bucket trucks. At cooperative or utility owned substations, they feed the 13,800 volt distribution system, but 69,000 volt lines also feed directly industrial customers using larger machinery, like feed mills, steel plants, chemical plants, oil refineries, and cement factories. Occasionally, two 69,000 volt circuits are used, mounted on the same poles on on a lower cross-arm of a H-frame tower. Poles used may also support 13,800 volt distribution lines and transformers.
  • Three single or double wires in wood, concrete, or steel poles, H-frame/triple towers, or delta towers, with eight-plate insulators or longer pin insulators are 115,000 volts. This serves as the subtransmission voltage in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, and as transmission voltage in Ilocos Region. The lines in Metro Manila and nearby provinces are almost operated by Meralco, but National Grid Corporation of the Philippines also operates a few lines in those areas, mostly supplanted by Meralco-owned lines. At distribution substations, they are stepped down to 34,500 volts for distribution, but these lines may serve large industrial loads, like chemical factories and steel mills, which use very large machinery. Occasionally, some 115,000 volt lines or line segments also supports a second circuit of the same voltage. The poles used may also support 34,500 volt distribution lines and transformers.

Transmission, subtransmission, and distribution grid voltages, however, differ by island group, region, and company/cooperative practice.

  • Metro Manila and nearby provinces in Luzon (Meralco):
    • Transmission: 500,000 volts, 230,000 volts,
    • Subtransmission 115,000 volts, 69,000 volts (northern Bulacan and Batangas City
    • Distribution: 34,500 volts, 20,000 volts (most of Meralco's coverage area), 13,800 volts, 7,970 volts (Batangas City and San Pascual, both in Batangas)
    • Household distribution: 220/440 volts (three wire single phase or split-phase)
  • Most of Luzon:
    • Transmission: 500,000 volts, 230,000 volts
    • Subtransmission: 69,000 volts
    • Distribution: 13,800 volts, 7970 volts
    • Household distribution: 220 volts (single phase)
  • Ilocos Region:
    • Transmission: 230,000 volts, 115,000 volts
    • Subtransmission: 69,000 volts
    • Distribution: 13,800 volts, 7970 volts
  • Visayas
    • Transmission: 230,000 volts, 138,000 volts
    • Subtransmission: 69,000 volts
    • Distribution: 13,800 volts, 7,970 volts
    • Household distribution: 220 volts (single phase)
  • Mindanao
    • Transmission: 230,000 volts (for implementation in the near future), 138,000 volts (current voltage, including the transmission backbone)
    • Subtransmission: 69,000 volts
    • Distribution: 34,500 volts, 20,000 volts (Cagayan de Oro only), 13,800 volts, 7,970 volts
    • Household distribution: 220 volts (single phase) (220/440 volts use in Mindanao not known)

United Kingdom

National Grid call the things "towers" as they're free-standing, but common usage seems to be "pylon"

In England and Wales, higher-voltage (>= 275kV) lines are operated by National Grid. Lower voltage lines are operated by distribution network operators (UK Power Networks, Western Power Distribution, etc) with regional scope. Different DNOs have different construction standards, so while the transmission network is consistent across the country, the distribution network has substantial design variations.

In the UK, each National Grid power line appears to have a two character identifier and each tower along that line appears to be numbered. For example ZM is the West Weybridge to Chessington line, and each tower is numbered ZM 1, ZM 2, etc. I propose that these be recorded, if known, for each tower with the ref tag. For example: power=tower, ref=ZM 35. Higher-voltage DNO lines use similar schemes, sometimes with three-letter line identifiers (e.g. PTC connects Burwell to Fulbourn Grid).

In the UK there is a hierarchy of power lines that is easy to identify. Most are identifiable over long distances which makes them useful for navigation. Other countries follow very similar schemes (not surprising as the design is constrained by the same physics and economics). Starting at the low-voltage end, we have:

  • Wooden poles carrying four wires on small ceramic insulators, or bundles of insulated cables twisted together. These lines are usually 400 V between phases, which directly provide the domestic 230 V supply. Most of these follow roads and paths.
  • Wooden poles with two or three widely-spaced bare wires on large insulators having one or two plates. These lines are 11,000 volts - often used for distribution in rural areas.
  • Wooden poles with three bare wires on multi-plate insulators are 33,000 V or 45,000 V between phases - usually on higher and more substantial poles, sometimes poles are used in pairs and sometimes two circuits are run in parallel on the same poles.
  • Metal towers carrying a set of single wires (usually three plus an earth wire on top) are 132,000 V. These are gradually disappearing.
  • Towers with three or six double wires are 275,000 V
  • Towers with three or six quadruple wires are 400,000 V

United States

The number of conductors (i.e. single, double, triple) is simply relevant to the current handling capacity, and not more or less likely to be seen for any particular voltage. Similarly, the number of 3-phase circuits (groups of 3 cables) is simply a matter of capacity required, since single-circuit paths are (somewhat surprisingly) much cheaper to construct - the cost of the cables themselves apparently being the most significant factor.


The electricity overlay map view from ITO Map showing power=line according to voltage=* (red = 400 kV+, purple = 300-399 kV, light blue = 200-299 kV, green < 200 kV). However, this overlay is no longer available in ITO Map

Electricity europe.png

OpenInfraMap, which renders electricity, telecommunications, water, petroleum, and microwave communications infrastructure, also features a similar rendering of power lines in one of its overlays, Names of substations and their highest voltage, and power plants are also indicated. Rendering of power lines and cables by voltage are similar to ITO Map's electricity overlay, now defunct.

Another visualization can be seen at Flosm.de.

MapCSS style

A mapCSS stylesheet is available for josm.


See also